This week's challenge for our #tcbcookingclub is chili. It couldn't be more appropriate for quarantine cooking as your pantry is likely stocked with canned or dried beans (though Texans would argue there's no place in chili for beans), and you might have some type of ground meat, whether beef, turkey or pork, in your freezer.
The beauty of chili is that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, and it even makes for a delicious vegetarian entree. Chili can be as elaborate or as simple as you need it to be. Chef Quincy Bissic uses five different types of dried chiles in his Short Rib and Black Bean Chili. Chef Matt Woolf uses canned beans for convenience in his 6-Pepper Chili.
A little over a year ago, I decided to enter a chili competition at my church. Of course, I knew the best place to start for a prize-winning recipe would be The Chopping Block's recipe archives. I adapted the below recipe for ground turkey and my Instant Pot and sampled it out to the crowd.
Guests were able to vote for their favorite chili and in the end, I ended up taking first place in the competition.
What makes this chili so great is the verde sauce and hominy. Everyone said the flavors were unexpected and stood out in a crowd of "regular" chilis. I encourage you to make a batch of The Chopping Block's version this week. It will be a winner with your family too!
Pork Chili Verde with Poblanos and Hominy
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4-6 servings
Active time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours, 40 minutes
For the sauce:
2 small onions, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 jalapeño, quartered (leave the seeds in if you want more heat)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
2 poblano peppers, roasted and cut into strips (see note below)
1 can hominy, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro, rough chopped
1. To prepare the tomatillo sauce, set the broiler to high. Place the onions, garlic, tomatillos and jalapeño on a sheet tray. Place it under the broiler and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely charred.
2. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside while searing the meat.
3. Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a heavy pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear on all sides until golden brown. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the cumin. Cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the water, scraping up any bits of fond.
5. Return the seared pork to the pan. Stir in the tomatillo sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 2 hours or until the pork is tender (see pro tip below).
6. A half hour before serving the pozole, fold in the poblano peppers and hominy. Cook until heated through.
7. Right before serving, fold in the cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with warm corn tortillas on the side.
● To roast a pepper, watch our video.
● If cooking this recipe in a slow cooker, transfer the contents of the braise to the slow cooker after step 6 is complete. Allow to simmer on low all day. Complete steps 6 and 7 before serving.
Want to get in our cooking challenges? Join our private Facebook group and share your images and recipes with other home cooks!
I'm also happy to announce that our first TCB virtual cooking class is happening this Friday, April 24 at 5pm CST. Owner/Chef Shelley Young will show you how to make the French classic Steak au Poivre. You'll learn how to:
- Select and sauté steak
- Determine steak doneness
- Make a pan sauce
You'll receive the recipes when you register for the class so you can follow along or even cook along with Shelley in the safety of your own kitchen. The cost of the class is $11, and everyone in your household is welcome to attend via Zoom. Space is limited, so grab your spot now!